Newsletter #1034

The main news over the weekend is the impending signing of Danny Mills from Leeds, who is due to complete negotiations today or tomorrow. Keegan states he is still looking for a forward to join the reserves, despite letting Elliott go to Sunderland.

Opinion tonight on the Royle ruling, Vuoso, Sky and a couple of requests.

Next game: Bury, away, 7.30pm Wednesday 21 July 2004 (friendly)


Does anyone know how much we have actually spent on Vuoso? It’s almost certain that the deal would have been based on payment up front followed by bonuses (as is the Anelka deal, as was Fowler, so it’s pretty standard). The talk of us throwing away £2.5 million on the player is simply inaccurate and helps to paint an unfair picture of the way the money has been spent. Seeing as the lad never even played for us, let alone scored a goal, there would have been no outside bonuses paid.

And how can JR claim that there was no drinking culture at the club? Did Nick Weaver just suffer from water retention?

Tom Rance <TomRance(at)>


Just thought I would add my opinion into the debate surrounding the Joe Royle situation – Joe did his best for City and it was a bit of a shock when he was sacked even after we were relegated. Whatever people’s opinions of him are now, he left the club in a massively improved state than what he inherited from a succession of imbecilic managers.

He whittled away the dead wood and installed a team spirit, whilst at the same time creating a bond between the fans and the players.

Having said that, he was clearly not up to the task of keeping us in the Premiership, but it could be argued that he was a victim of his own success, as finishing mid-table and consolidating in Division 1 in the season that we won promotion would have been 100% acceptable for all City fans.

But the point I am trying take make here is not about JR, it is about our legal team. I cannot believe that a PLC did not clarify beyond doubt that we were not liable to pay JR the full £750,000 rather than the reduced amount. What on earth were they thinking? I can visualise the conversation that JR refers to as a belts and braces conversation between one of City’s hierarchy and the Premier League. I think that the court ruling was absolutely correct, and I hope that JR enjoys spending the money on his retirement. After dragging our great club up by the bootlaces, he deserves it.

And please let’s hire some decent lawyers next time we do something like that eh?

P.S. I can’t believe that the meeting held to decide JR’s future was held… in an Indian restaurant in Rusholme. Give me strength!

Richard Ellor <richardellor(at)>


This is a highly malodorous mess in which a miscellaneous assortment of opportunism, incompetence, legal niceties and the real world all combined to create a legal and moral morass, from which no side emerges with any credit. In the end I believe that the behaviour on both sides was legally flawless and uniformly morally bankrupt.

It seems that JR’s contract was linked to MCFC’s legal status as a Premiership club. While everyone knew that City would be back in the Nationwide (again!) after the Chelsea game, until such time as certain formalities were concluded, City was still legally a Premiership club. JR argued in effect that even if you are served with an eviction notice, you are entitled to live in the house until the notice expires. Therefore, having been ejected before the eviction notice expired, JR was legally entitled to payment based on City’s Premiership status.

However, JR’s primary responsibility was for the team’s results, and where it mattered – on the football field – he had demonstrably failed to secure MCFC’s position in the Premiership. Based on his results, JR deserved to be sacked. While MCFC was not formally relegated until after JR actually was sacked, the chances that City would be allowed to play in the Premiership in 2001/2 were about the same as The Sun being voted in as the Quality Newspaper of the Year in the city of Liverpool. To a limited extent I can understand JR’s annoyance at being given the bum’s rush, but, on balance, his court action appears to smack of opportunism and be inspired by sour grapes. Whatever the circumstances of his sacking, morally JR had not earned compensation at the Premiership rate.

And what about MCFC’s haste to be rid of JR? Why the hurry? Was it because our Kev would not move in before our Joe had moved out? Fair enough, but just like JR’s, MCFC’s behaviour was legally correct and morally bankrupt when it sought legal advice from the Premier League just hours after the Chelsea game. What was wrong with MCFC and JR getting together over the weekend to come to a decent and amicable settlement?

In the end, neither side emerges with any credit. However, I am not at all surprised that JR won his case – in the surreal world of the law, what is written down does not necessarily have to have any connection with the real world, and MCFC clearly jumped the gun. I sincerely hope that MCFC thinks seriously before throwing good money after bad, in pursuing this odious and shabby case to appeal.

CTID, Tony O’Leary <aoleary(at)>


Nice to see that Lance Thomson is provoking some healthy debate, and he does have a fair point about what the majority of our supporters want, I too am a season card holder and 3pm Saturday’s are so much more convenient for my travel. However, by contract City are going to be televised a minimum or set number of times during the season (like it or not!), and I’m not asking for more, but would expect to see a schedule that gives a balance of when televised and where; we don’t currently have that.

It’s also worth noting that this forum was primarily set up to keep exiles in the information loop, although many of us in the UK are now subscribers. Due to distance, many of the exiles rely on TV coverage and the odd expensive trip home, perhaps referring to them as armchair supporters is a bit naughty.

Chris P Bacon <gin.mcfc(at)>


In response to the conundrum posed by Lance in the last issue, why don’t Sky televise matches played at 3pm on Saturday afternoons? I’ve never understood why this isn’t done. I know there’s an argument that attendances would be lower, but doesn’t this apply to a televised match played at any time? Also if Sky were to pay a substantial sum to the club to compensate for the lower attendance, everyone would be happy! This would please the supporters who attend the match and the armchair/pub/foreign-based supporters.

John Walker <john.walker(at)>


As a City and Metros supporter I just thought I’d let you know that Paul Ritchie will not be signing for the Metrostars. The BBC, Edinburgh Evening News and others had reported that he did, but not even 24 hours later the story changed. The BBC story was amended with the following quote by Ritchie: “I have discussed it with my family and decided it is not the right move at this time.”

Armando Testani <atestani(at)>


Two exiled mancs aged approx 50, looking for 2 like minded souls in the Weston Super Mare area or along the M5 corridor, to share the driving to home and away games. If interested please call Garry on 01934 521092 or 07980780143.

Garry Smith <garry.smith3156(at)>


I will be relocating to Phoenix, Arizona in the next couple of months. Are there any Blues based in Phoenix that get together for games and or beers?

Thanks, Matt Spence <Matthew.Spence2(at)>


Anyone looking to buy City shirts should check out where the latest shirts can be bought for 32 dollars, about £18 depending on exchange rate, including delivery.

[Apart from the ones they show currently are last season’s – Ed]

David Sinnott <sinnottd(at)>


What with the imminent arrival of Danny Mills to the City squad, I was thinking that had we have signed Dominic Matteo as well; the City back four would have boasted an Englishman, an Irishman, a Welshman and a Scotsman. Whoever said City’s defence was a joke?!

Rob Springthorpe <robertspringthorpe(at)>

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[1] What are MCIVTA’s publishing deadlines?

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[3] What is the club’s official web site?

The official club web site can be found at

[4] What supporters’ clubs are there?

Manchester City FC recognises three supporters’ clubs: The “Official Supporters Club” (; the “Centenary Supporters’ Association” ( and “The International Supporters’ Club” (

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[8] What’s the music the teams run out to?

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Newsletter #1034